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Chloe Moore-McNeil defends during Indiana's win over Michigan State on Feb. 8, 2024. (HN photo/Jaren Himelick)
Chloe Moore-McNeil defends during Indiana's win over Michigan State on Feb. 8, 2024. (HN photo/Jaren Himelick)

Chloe Moore-McNeil's triple-double highlights No. 14 Indiana's comeback win over Michigan State

Clutch shooting late in the game fueled IU's dramatic victory

Indiana does not beat Michigan State without its point guard, Chloe Moore-McNeil. She had the program’s fourth-ever triple double, the first of her career, in Indiana’s 94-91 victory over the Spartans. Moore-McNeil finished with 10 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, joining Grace Berger as the only two IU players to ever post a triple-double.

From only averaging a little over seven minutes per game her freshman year, Moore-McNeil had to fight for minutes on the court. Now, she is lucky if she even gets a breather.  

Against the Spartans, Moore-McNeil played 39 minutes, meaning she was not on the court for only a singular minute. Mackenzie Holmes said they need her for every one of those minutes down the stretch.  

“She was playing with four fouls for most of that fourth quarter,” Holmes said. “She did a great job staying solid not bailing the other team out.”  

It was Moore-McNeil’s calming presence on the court and other Hoosiers stepping up at half time that allowed Indiana to realize what needed to change. The coaching staff let players step up and be vocal about the adjustments needed coming off a half where they allowed Michigan State to score 53 points and lead the Hoosiers by 10. 

Holmes said the team discussed in the locker the need to have more urgency on defense. A player who they specifically pointed out was Julia Ayrault. The Michigan State redshirt junior torched the Hoosiers’ defense in the first half by going a perfect 4 of 4 from the behind the arc and scoring 18 points.  

Indiana stayed the course when it came to defending Ayrault and the rest of the Spartans, but this offense-heavy game all came down to the play in the fourth quarter. This was led by the team getting the ball to the players with clutch shot making ability.  

“I think they’re a smart team,” head coach Teri Moren said. “I think they understand where the ball needs to go.”  

The team’s ability to locate players such as Holmes, Yarden Garzon and Sara Scalia was essential. Combined, those three players had 26 of the team’s 28 points in the final period. They showed out when their team needed them the most. 

These final few minutes in the game are known as gut-check time, or the time when it comes down to who wants it more, and the Hoosiers were able to be that team.  

“You’ve got to be able to step and say, ‘I’m going to hit this shot for my team tonight,’” Moren said.  

Indiana had multiple of those moments and was able to pull out this back-and-forth battle with an upset-minded Michigan State team. 

The Hoosiers will stay at home and host rival Purdue on Sunday at 2 p.m.  

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